What I Deserve
Based on the title, how would fill in this blank?
If you’re like me, you may say nice things like a healthy family, plenty of money, more readers for this blog, or any number of things. Fundamentally, those who are Christians understand that based on sin and depravity I deserved death, hell, punishment, and lots of other bad stuff.
It is this latter fact that I’m focusing on today and the confusion I often have concerning this.
See, when I have messed up, sinned, failed, had a blow-out, whatever terminology you put on it–I clearly and profoundly understand that I deserve nothing from God but He gives His love and grace anyway. When I get through a month or week or hour without screwing up, I too often start to believe that I am somehow earning the grace now.
Bull crap (I would prefer to use a stronger term because of how deeply and seriously I feel this, but I’ll spare you).
We see it in movies where one character sacrifices for another then commissions another character to earn their chance or opportunity. That may work great as a plot device, but it’s terrible in our theology. God doesn’t honor it.
I may grow and mature in God, but I will never get to the place where I don’t deserve death or anything more than a kick in the teeth from a holy, perfect God. The way(s) I fall short may not seem like much to you or it may seem absolutely horrible. Either way, it doesn’t matter. We put degrees on sin, not God.
I pursue His kingdom and righteousness because I love Him and want to be near Him. When I take my eyes off Him, it slowly and sometimes quickly unravels. I get disappointed, others may get hurt, and God just wants me to remember Him always.
The truth of the matter is, I never deserved grace and I never will. The more I can understand that and let it seep into my very marrow, the better. Every day I live, every breath I breath, every positive step I take–it’s all because of Him (and it’s in spite of me).
There’s no condemnation in this and I’m not trying to be a downer. I’m only trying to remind myself. I’ll never get to a place where I can pay back the ransom Jesus paid for me. That’s not low self-esteem. It’s viewing things rightly.
Lord, help me to remember that I cannot weaken Your promise with my failures just like I can’t strengthen the promise with my obedience. It’s all for You, from You, by You, and through You. Thank you for the undeserved grace You have freely poured out into my life. I receive more as I seek Your face today. In Jesus’ name, I pray–amen.